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Virginia Cooperative Extension -
 Knowledge for the CommonWealth

Second Annual Karakul Youth Conservationist Program

Livestock Update, February 1999

Mark Wahlberg, Extension Animal Scientist, 4-H Livestock, Animal & Poultry Sciences, Virginia Tech

Sponsored by
Richard Larson
Old Gjerpen Farm
Nokesville, Virginia

Since his introduction to Karakuls, an ancient breed of sheep, at the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival (MS&WF) seven years ago, Mr. Larson has come to value the many excellent qualities of this rare breed of sheep. Karakuls originated in Russia and with their naturally colored, long stapled, lustrous fleece, are renown for "Persian wool" obtained from their young lambs. To enable others to share in the joy of helping preserve this unique breed Old Gjerpen Farm (OGF) will award one purebred registered ewe lamb to a young shepherd on May 2, 1999, at the MS&WF.

Objectives: The purpose in giving a lamb to a young shepherd is to raise awareness of the importance of preserving heritage breeds and help others to:

Requirements: The following criteria must be met in order to be considered for selection:

Application:Any youth interested in being considered for selection should submit a one-page typed application to: Richard Larson, Old Gjerpen Farm, 11917 Airlea Drive, Nokesville, VA 20181, by April 15, 1999. The application should include your phone number and:
  • Describe yourself and your experience with animals;
  • Explain your interest in sheep; and,
  • Answers the question: "Why I would like to help preserve a rare breed?"
  • Information about conservation of breeds may be obtained from the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy. Their e-mail address is: Phone: (919) 542-5704. Information about the MS&WF can be obtained either from their web site: or by calling (410) 531-3647.

    (Note: Sarah Lohman, an Orange County 4-H member, was the 1998 winner.)

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